i am fortunate enough to have many fond memories of my childhood, and i hope that fritz can say the same in thirty years. one of these memories is as clear as if it were yesterday, my grandmother’s garden in saline, michigan. it was impressive…she had pumpkins, carrots, potatoes, watermelons, corn, and shell beans. she would send my brother and i out into the garden to pick fruits and vegetables for dinner and we would beg to be allowed to have a carrot for our efforts. she always grudgingly agreed, though obviously, she was secretly thrilled. smart woman.
one thing i remember most clearly is shelling beans, plopping them into her ancient metal colander, and rinsing them under the tap on the side of the garage. i honestly can’t remember what she did with them, my chore was done when the shelling was, and i always ran off to enjoy my freshly plucked carrot. however, i think she would agree that this is a nice recipe for late summer shell beans.
they are at the farmers market right now, and that is where i got mine, so if you can get your hands on them try this simple and delicious recipe.
summer shell beans and sausages
- summer shell beans such as cranberry, borlotti, or even lima (i used a combination of cranberry and lima)
- 3-4 sage leaves
- 1 bay leaf
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 tablespoons butter
- prepared sausages (we use aidells chicken and apple because they are gluten free)
- parmigiano reggiano cheese
- thick crusty bread and butter
shell the beans by breaking off the end and pulling out the thread that runs along the seam. rinse them off well.
add them to a heavy bottomed pot and just cover with water (leaving a little above the level of the beans, but not much). add the sage, bay, oil, and a generous amount of salt.
cover and bring to a boil. once boiling, reduce the heat and simmer and cook for about 45 minutes, or until the beans are creamy and smooth. the cooking time will vary based on the amount of beans you have. adjust the seasoning to your tastes and discard the bay and sage leaves.
while the beans are cooking, quickly sear the sausages. stir the butter into the bean stock and serve with a sausage and a pile of parmigiano reggiano cheese and crusty bread to sop up the delicious stock.
prepare to have your mind blown by their simple deliciousness.
notes: fritz loved the beans and the sausages, so i assume most other kids would too. you can switch up the flavors by changing out the herbs used, but sage is such a nice one that i couldn’t resist. the bread needs to be omitted if you are serving these as a gluten free option, but really, you don’t need it as the beans stand well on their own.